One longtime Wilmington business park is looking to add its final building.
Burnt Mill Business Park, situated in midtown Wilmington between Covil Avenue and Randall Parkway, is already home to the breakfast spot Brunches at Randall, a Crossfit gym, a local IRS office and a radio station, among other businesses.
The proposed building is being planned for the park’s final parcel. With more than 15,000 square feet, the new building could hold up to five new businesses, according to Steve Hall, the business park’s leasing agent.
Plans for the building are currently under review by planners from the city of Wilmington. Site plans show that the proposed one-story building is situated on a nearly 2.5 acre lot. Plans also call for 96 parking spaces. The proposed building will be smaller than others in the park because of required setbacks and easements, Hall said.
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With the ample parking and direct access into and out of the park Hall said he could see an engineering company, accounting firm, insurance agency or medical company settling into the new building.
The building is currently in the pre-leasing process, according to Hall.
The business park’s most recent additions, which were built in 2018, were fully leased before construction finished, said Norman Brailsford, the vice president of the Abinto Corporation, which has developed and manages the business park.
The decision to build now, ultimately, came down to several factors, including the park’s 100% occupancy, the “lack of supply of office space in the midtown market,” and current low-interest rates, according to Hall.
Although the pandemic has allowed some to work from home, Hall predicts that the demand for office space in Wilmington will continue to grow.
“There are some companies that have allowed their employees to work from home,” he said, “but I don’t think it will be long before they will be back in the office.”
Brailsford said the demand for office space, the cost of building supplies and other market factors will play a big role.
“That’s something we just have to be aware of as we go along,” he said. “Unfortunately, you make projections and until you get to the building design and everything when the contractors can actually quote a cost, you’re working on projections.”
The business park was established in 1988 with the construction of its first two buildings, Brailsford said. Since then, several new buildings have been added. The latest proposed construction would be building number 18, Brailsford said.
If site plans are approved by the city of Wilmington, work could start on the project this fall with vertical construction starting in January 2022. They aim to finish the building next summer, Hall said.
Reporter Emma Dill can be reached at 910-343-2096 or [email protected]